Nanavira Thera Clearing the Path

ISBN 13: 9789460900044

Clearing the Path

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9789460900044: Clearing the Path

Clearing the Path is the first volume of the collected writings of Ñanavira Thera. It contains his most important writings: those that originated after he attained sotapatti (Stream-entry) on 27.06.1959. Clearing the Path is supplemented by Seeking the Path, a second volume consisting of his early writings (1954-1960) and marginalia. In March 1963 Ñanavira Thera wrote to one of his correspondents: 'With regard to any of my past writings that you may come across [...] I would ask you to treat with great reserve anything dated before 1960, about which time certain of my views underwent a modification. If this is forgotten you may be puzzled by inconsistencies between earlier and later writings'. (L. 49) Clearing the Path consists of the final version of the author's principal work, Notes on Dhamma (1960-1965), faithfully restored from the original manuscript, followed by the letters he exchanged with several interested individuals during the last five years of his life. Part of the correspondence started after Notes on Dhamma was first published and carefully distributed as a private edition of 250 cyclostyled copies, and can be regarded as something of a commentary on the Notes . Notes on Dhamma has been variously described as 'arrogant, scathing, and condescending', as 'a fantastic system', and as 'the best and most important book on Buddhism ever written by a Westerner'. Ñanavira Thera himself remarked of the book that 'it is vain to hope that it is going to win general approval [...] but I do allow myself to hope that a few individuals [...] will have private transformations of their way of thinking as a result of reading [the Notes]'.

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About the Author:

Ven. Ñanavira Thera, formerly Harold Musson, was born in 1920 into a British military family, and attained the rank of Captain during World War II. After the war he graduated with First Class Honours in Modern Languages from Cambridge University, but dissatisfied with his mundane life, he left England for Sri Lanka in 1948 and became a samanera the following year. He ordained as a bhikkhu, taking the name of Ñanavira, at Vajirarama monastery (Colombo) in 1950, and spent his early years at the Island Hermitage. He later moved to a solitary kuti near Bundala, where he spent most of his ordained life until his death in 1965.

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